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13°13′50″N 79°53′20″E / 13.23056°N 79.88889°E / 13.23056; 79.88889

Attirampakkam is located in India
Attirampakkam's location in India

Attirampakkam or Athirampakkam is a village located 60 kilometers away from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. The oldest known stone tools in India were discovered near the village,[1][2] which became the type site for the Madrasian culture.[3][4]

Discovery and dating of artifacts[edit]

Robert Bruce Foote and his colleague William King of the East India Company's Geological Survey found the first primitive stone tools at Attirampakkam in the early 1863. Later, more stone tools were recovered from Attirampakkam over a 20-year period by archaeologists from the Sharma Centre for Heritage Education in India and other Indian institutions.[5] Due to the paucity of any hominine fossils or bones recovered yet from the site or from South Asia as a whole, it is currently not possible to conclude which hominin species had created these tools.[5]

By performing a luminescence dating method called post-Infrared-Stimulated Luminescence (pIR-IRSL) on about 7,200 artifacts found at Attirampakkam, researchers have made a chronology of Attirampakkam stone tool technology with a span of about 200,000 years.[6] Latest studies indicate that the Levallois technology used at Attirampakkam emerged at about 385,000 (± 64,000) years ago, at a time period when processes signifying the end of the Acheulian culture occurred and a Middle Palaeolithic culture had emerged.[1][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Akhilesh, Kumar; Pappu, Shanti; Rajapara, Haresh M.; Gunnell, Yanni; Shukla, Anil D.; Singhvi, Ashok K. (31 January 2018). "Early Middle Palaeolithic culture in India around 385–172 ka reframes Out of Africa models". Nature. 554 (7690): 97–101. doi:10.1038/nature25444. ISSN 1476-4687. PMID 29388951. S2CID 4447452. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Tools found in India suggest humans left Africa earlier than we thought". Quartz. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  3. ^ Pappu, Shanti; Gunnell, Yanni; Taieb, Maurice; Brugal, Jean-Philippe; Anupama, K.; Sukumar, Raman; Akhilesh, Kumar (September 2003). "Excavations at the Palaeolithic site of Attirampakkam, South India". Antiquity. 77 (297). Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  4. ^ Iqbal, Sarah (2 February 2018). "Ancient Stone Tools Found in Tamil Nadu Push Back 'Out of Africa' Exodus Date". The Wire. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  5. ^ a b Becker, Rachel (31 January 2018). "Discovery of ancient stone tools rewrites the history of technology in India". The Verge. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  6. ^ a b Tarlach, Gemma (31 January 2018). "Stone Tools From India: Another Blow To Human Evolution Model?". Discover Magazine. Archived from the original on 7 March 2018. Retrieved 5 March 2018.